13 must-read June YA book releases to start your summer off right

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee. Image Courtesy Page Street Publishing
Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee. Image Courtesy Page Street Publishing /
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The State of Us – Shaun David Hutchinson

If you loved the fluffy, queer romance of the hit book Red, White and Royal Blue, you’ll probably want to add Shaun David Hutchinson’s The State of Us to your summer reading list ASAP. Hutchinson’s novel sounds like nothing so much as an Americanized version of a similar story, and I don’t know about y’all but I am 100% here for it.

It’s the tale of a modern-day, star-crossed connection between two boys who are both sons of rival political campaigns, but that’s about all they have in common. Dre, is Democrat, is Mexican-American, gay and out, and his dad is a progressive fighter on immigration issues. Dean is white and closeted and his Republican mother wants to ban trans soldiers from the military.

As if falling in love while your parents are both running for president wasn’t hard enough on its own.

The State of Us feels perfectly timed for this moment, wrestling with issues of love, belief, and how to navigate the messy waters of caring about someone whose beliefs we don’t always share.

The official synopsis describes the story as follows.

"When Dean Arnault’s mother decided to run for president, it wasn’t a surprise to anyone, least of all her son. But still that doesn’t mean Dean wants to be part of the public spectacle that is the race for the White House—at least not until he meets Dre. The only problem is that Dre Rosario’s on the opposition; he’s the son of the Democratic nominee. But as Dean and Dre’s meet-ups on the campaign trail become less left to chance, their friendship quickly becomes a romantic connection unlike any either of the boys have ever known. If it wasn’t hard enough falling in love across the aisle, the political scheming of a shady third-party candidate could cause Dean and Dre’s world to explode around them."

The State of Us is available on June 2.